Another day, another incendiary Rihanna video.
"Thank you for the amazing response on ManDownVideo I love you guys, and I love that u GOT IT!!!" the pop diva tweeted yesterday after the video for "Man Down," which features a scene in which Rihanna systematically shoots a man dead in retaliation for raping her, premiered on BET.
Not everyone who watched jumped on the female-empowerment train, however.
The reliably eagle-eyed Parents Television Council, Internet watchdog Enough Is Enough and think tank Industry Ears are have taken major issue with the killing scene, calling "Man Down" an "inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song."
"In my 30 years of viewing BET," said Industry Ears' Paul Porter, "I have never witnessed such a cold, calculated execution of murder in prime time. If Chris Brown shot a woman in his new video and BET premiered it, the world would stop. Rihanna should not get a pass and BET should know better. The video is far from broadcast worthy."
Moreover, Rihanna missed a "golden opportunity," according to the PTC.
"Rihanna's personal story and status as a celebrity superstar provided a golden opportunity for the singer to send an important message to female victims of rape and domestic violence," said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the PTC. "Instead of telling victims they should seek help, Rihanna released a music video that gives retaliation in the form of premeditated murder the imprimatur of acceptability."
These groups may be a little behind if they're concerned about music videos promoting behavior that is illegal, misguided, unwise or otherwise provocative (actually, Industry Ears also condemned Rihanna's "Russian Roulette"), but this is the stance they're taking.
Either way, Rihanna, who has not responded directly to the criticism, sounds satisfied with the finished product—and with the message she sent.
"Young girls/women all over the world...we are a lot of things!" she tweeted. "We're strong innocent fun flirtatious vulnerable, and sometimes our innocence can cause us to be naïve! We always think it could NEVER be us, but in reality, it can happen to ANY of us! So ladies be careful and #listentoyomama! I love you and I care!"
(Originally published June 1, 2011, at 4 p.m. PT)